Business Update & Helpful Travel Tips
Business Update & Helpful Travel Tips
Before I get into a quick business update, I wanted to touch on a topic from last month's newsletter - the new First Home Savings Account. To be clear, legislation allows opening up this account starting on April 1st 2023, however, most financial institutions have not created the back office systems to be able to administer these accounts. At this point, I'm only aware of one financial institution that has allowed the opening of this account, with most others allowing the account to be opened later in the summer/fall months. A number of individuals have inquired about opening up this account, and rest assured as soon as these accounts become available I will be reaching out to all of whom these accounts apply.
You may have received a letter in the mail outlining a change at Aligned Capital Partners, and if you haven't, it is coming very shortly. The letter explains that Aligned Capital Partners Inc. will be changing carrying brokers and switching from National Bank Independent Network (NBIN) to CI Investment Services Inc. (CIIS) on July 21st 2023. Carrying brokers provide functions such as trading, clearing, settlement, and custodial services.
How does the change impact you?
1. Lower trading costs for equities.
2. A New and improved client portal. You will be sent new login details to to access the new portal and will still have access to the MyPortfolio+ login for 3 months following the conversion.
For those wondering if account security and protection will be any different, there is no change. Both CIIS and NBIN manage approximately $380B in wealth management assets, and all client assets are completely segregated from those of the company. Both custodians are regulated by the same rules and regulations and CIIS will provide all the same protections and assurances that NBIN currently offers.
If you have any additional questions on this change, please let me know!
Tips While Travelling
Over the last year, there are two ways I've been able to save some money while travelling.
1. Using a multi-currency card.
To my knowledge, we never had great access to multi-currency cards in Canada until recently. Even if you have a travel credit card with no foreign exchange fees, the exchange rate credit card companies provide you is horrible. If you don't have a travel credit card, the foreign exchange rate, combined with a 2.5% conversion fee (yes, they give you a bad rate and then hit you with a fee) you could be losing around 5% on every transaction.
Last year I opted to be setup with the WISE card, and I only have positive things to say about it. You have access to 50 different currencies, an excellent app to track spending and load funds, $350 CAD/month as free ATM withdrawals abroad, and best of all the exchange rates are phenomenal. If you want to check them out, you can click here.
2. Using an E-SIM for phone data.
It's widely known that Canadian's have some of the highest phone bills in the world. As indicated by a Rewheel Research study, Canada was the most expensive compared to 50 European, American, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and African Countries. Check out the study here. These expensive phone plans aren't only expensive for accessing data inside Canada, it also extends to travelling. If you want to use data from your Canadian provider when travelling, most carriers will charge a flat $10-15/day to continue to access this data abroad.
One option to lower this cost is to purchase a new physical SIM card at your destination, but this involves the hassle of swapping out your current SIM card, storing it for the time being and inserting your new card.
Along come the E-SIM's... this is an electronic or digital SIM card that you can load onto your phone as software, and will have access to data in the country or region that you are travelling to, at a significantly cheaper price. Instead of paying $12/day for two weeks while visiting the UK, ($168), you could instead purchase an E-SIM from one of the many providers at a cost of $23 for 10GB of data for 30 days of use. I've used Nomad E-SIM in the past, however there are many providers to choose from.
I hope this helps you save some money while travelling!
Financial Advisor | CFP, B.Eng